Bring Some Chelsea Magic to Your Garden

Published on June 2nd 2020
Flowers and lantern in a garden
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020 was a great success as it went virtual for the first time ever due to the physical show being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The flower-filled week saw a multitude of garden tours, world-leading designers offering tips, ‘how to’ demonstrations from plant experts and, of course, the infamous awards.
But just because it’s over for another year doesn’t mean it has to end there. Stay at home stylist Selina Lake paid tribute to the prestigious floral event in her own garden and now she’s sharing her expert tips for styling some Chelsea magic in your outdoor space.
Chelsea styled garden table
Image credit: Selina Lake
‘I’m a huge fan of the Chelsea Flower Show,’ says Selina, ‘it is something I look forward to each year. For me it's a celebration of gardens, creativity, blooming flowers and lovely plants and this year, more than ever, we all need some cheer.
‘As the event went ahead virtually, fans, like me, got a flower fix via our screens and social media exploded with stay at home garden projects, creative tutorials from florists and inspiring stories from plant growers. Adding my part to the event and starting the #stylingsomechelseamagic hashtag opened up the joys of the Show to my followers.’
Following the success of her styling project for the Alitex Greenhouse trade stand at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show – which was one of the most Instagrammed stands and received a 5-star award from the judges – Selina had been commissioned by Gold Medal Winning Designer Jo Thompson to help style her RHS Garden For Friendship. As the project is on pause, Selina instead turned her attention to her own garden, which she shares with her husband Dave in Surrey.
Flowers and vases
Image credit: Selina Lake
Her stay home and style project included ramping up a floral theme inside her inherited black-stained shed by using delicate glass bud vases to display seasonal flowers, which she has either grown or sourced from a local flower grower. Selina also styled her garden table ready for alfresco dining and gave her outdoor lounge a makeover with some cushions she has sewn in Chelsea inspired colours.
‘It’s always inspiring to have a mass of flowers to style any space with and, during lockdown, I was thrilled to discover Pig Pen Flowers who are located very close to me and are doing home deliveries of beautiful blooms. It felt good to support a local business as well as make a connection for my future projects,’ she says.
Vases inside a shed
Image credit: Selina Lake
Selina is encouraging us to style our outdoor space, whether that’s with Chelsea inspired items or just to shake things up. She suggests moving your table to a new spot and adding some cheerful flowers or even making your own botanical garden bar.
Selina explains: ‘Since lots of us have been stuck at home for so long, styling a space can give you a sense of newness that we are missing from visiting our usual haunts. It doesn’t need to be difficult.’
Alfresco dining
Image credit: Selina Lake

Selina’s top tips for styling some Chelsea magic in your garden:

  1. Before you begin, decide on a theme; this could be based on a collection of colours or patterns. I was inspired by the Magnolia/Cream/Blue R1351.4 Linen fabric, from Baker Originals Collection and the array of flowers that are currently blooming in the garden, so I have chosen a bright clashing and dashing florals theme.
  2. Work with what you have – repurpose bed sheets as tablecloths, old jugs as vases or recycle glass bottles to use as bud vases. Borrow cushions and throws from your sofa to comfy up and add style to garden furniture and dig out bunting or other decorations.
  3. Flowers flowers flowers… pick flowers growing aplenty in your garden and forage for a few wild flowers and foliage to add in. Cow paisley is abundant at the moment. Not enough flowers? There are lots of florists still trading online with no-contact deliveries, so research your local area for fresh flower sources. I mixed some of my garden flowers: Wisteria, Viburnum and Orange Geums with a bucket of locally grown blooms which included deep purple Tulips, peachy pink Ranunculus & white Anemones.
  4. Get creative – have a go at making your own styling props to use. I made a couple of cushions and a set of two simple napkins for my table and our garden sofa using linen fabric. If you have some fabric, give napkin making a go.
Outdoor furniture with cushions
Image credit: Selina Lake
Selina is an acclaimed stylist, columnist and author of 10 best-selling interior and garden books. She has a passion for the horticultural world and a love of all things botanical. Her careful curation of colours and floral displays has led her to regularly style for multiple lifestyle magazines, host talks and style show gardens at RHS Hampton. Her latest book Shed Style is out now.
Considered Britain’s most prestigious event, RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913 (apart from gaps during the two World Wars). Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, the five-day event is the place to see cutting-edge garden design, new plants and find ideas to take home.
Use the hashtag #StylingSomeChelseaMagic or #MyChelseaGarden to get involved. Catch up on the goings on from the virtual 2020 event.
Close up of grass and shed
Image credit: Selina Lake

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